He doesn’t exist.
Neither does the perfect homeschooling mom, nor the perfect homeschooling kid. We all know that. Yet there are some admirable fatherly traits which can make the journey much more enjoyable for everyone. We’ll call him the “nearly perfect” homeschool dad.
He doesn’t criticize. Now this doesn’t mean he never expresses an opinion or a dislike. The nearly perfect homeschool dad realizes that for the duration of the school years, the house will only be clean when company is coming. He has come to terms with the fact that his children will not always stay on task with their homework. Yet he also knows that critical words may backfire. He routinely looks for positives and aligns his words accordingly.
He loves to play. Even (especially) after a long day’s work, the nearly perfect homeschool dad will get down on the floor and build Legos until he falls asleep. He will dig the bikes out and insist everyone (but Mom) go for a ride after supper. He will sit at the table and play strategy games above his IQ with the teenagers on Sunday afternoon, even when a nap sounds heavenly. For Father’s Day, he requests a picnic at the park and is the first one to pull the Frisbee out, savoring every moment.
He does whatever it takes to pay the bills so Mom can teach. He may work two jobs, or take on extra paying projects such as handyman work or computer repair. He may choose to drive an old jalopy so the family can afford a reliable mommy van for field trips. Rather than hire someone to roof his house or fix his car, he does it himself. He puts aside dreams of expensive hobbies, the latest electronics, and long vacations.
He is proactive about giving Mom a break. The nearly perfect homeschool dad insists that Mom go out with her friends on a regular basis. While she is gone, he does not sit down once, but feeds and bathes the children, puts them to bed, and cleans up before she returns. If the funds are available, he may even suggest she retire to a motel for weekend in the summer to prepare lessons for the next year. If there is a particularly stressful season, he gets the children up and dressed for church, loads them in the car and takes them himself so she can have a quiet morning to regroup.
He brags about his family. Even though his workmates may tire of the endless field trip and project updates, he never shuts up about what is going on at home.
So Happy Father’s Day to my husband, a nearly-perfect homeschool dad who has unselfishly lived this list with gusto for more than 20 years, and now has the joy of parenting our remarkable adult children.